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The very heavy growth, thorns, and persistent leaves make the blackberry a good option for fences and hedges around the garden. They may also be grown for their berries as espaliers on free standing wire structures or on facade bound trellises.

Blackberry - latin: Rubus fruticosus

Blackberry with berries and young shoots

Requirements / Sources of Supply

The location should be sunny or partially shaded, as the fruits develop better in warm, humid, and wind-protected locations. Blackberries can grow almost everywhere except in soils that are too dry or nutrient-poor. Blackberries are available in garden centres or online.

Characteristics and Pruning

Blackberries are ramblers. Their shoots may last from 2 - 3 years and can be up to 5 cm thick. The shoots grow 5 - 8 metres in length every year, but the plant rarely grows over 3 m in height. The foliage lasts late into the winter. Blackberries propagate via stolons. The flowering is in June and July. The variety "Theodors Reimers" produces sweet and aromatic berries, while "Wilsons Frühe" ripens earlier and is less aromatic. The thornier and wilder (even 'nastier') the growth of a blackberry, the more interesting the taste of its fruit!...which also means that thorn-free blackberries don't have a really interesting taste. The new shoots that grow in the summer should be kept for the next year, and older shoots should be cut down to the ground and removed entirely.

Climbing Supports for Blackberry

Blackberries can grow on fences, grids or trellises, as well as on free standing wire rows in the garden. Facade or wall trellises are built the same way they would be for a pear tree (find a table with suitable trellis designs at the bottom of the page). Choose a trellis in the simple "Basic" or "Basic-S" ranges, or even better- in the medium or heavy / massive trellis ranges.

Suitable wire rope trellises?

Click on the picture to see a list of suitable trellis designs.

Espalier with blackberries on a garage
Blackberry espalier in autumn
Blackberry espalier on a facade in spring
Climbing structure for blackberries, made of robin wood, with a wire rope system similar to our system 0050

Suitable wire rope trellises for blackberry

Please click on the graphics to see a detailed view of each design!

 = suitable              = sometimes suitable              = not suitable